Linda Carreiro


Working Against Type: Revealing the dynamic body in word-based visual art

Supervisors: Prof. David Ferry, Dr. Clive Cazeaux
Research group: Centre for Fine Art Research

My Fine Arts PhD aims to reveal indices of the dynamic body within text-based artwork, proposing that these traces can provide new understandings of artistic practice involving text, and alternate ways of engaging with the works. While handwriting is immediately connected with gestures of the inscriber—since cursive is associated with movements of fingers, hand and arm—printed letters and typographical characters are not readily recognised as traces of an active body.

Many current artists employing text and typography, however, are engaged in studio practice that intentionally evidences their physical efforts in making the words; in doing so, the artworks propose to awaken imagined or recognised movements in the viewer (Noë, Sheets-Johnstone, Olivier & Gapenne), triggering a reception beyond conventional signification. This qualitative inquiry highlights a select group of contemporary word-based artists in the United Kingdom and Canada—including my own practice—that consider the ways in which text might be embodied through both its creation, and in its viewing.